djrobertson

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Hoffman's MarinaOct 03, 2018

This was the third time we had stopped at Hoffman’s while transiting the NJ coast. As always, the staff was very helpful and skilled in safely mooring our boat in adverse wind and current conditions. The facilities are excellent with especially nice heads and showers and a complimentary laundry. Be advised that it’s best to arrive and depart at slack water. The tidal currents are extreme and there are strong eddies around the ends of the piers closest to the railroad bridge. One uncomfortable aspect of our stay was not the fault of the marina. We tied up on a Sunday afternoon and the flood of boats making large wakes while fighting the ebb currents to get through the railroad bridge left the water in such turmoil that our boat rocked excessively in its slip. The only time it was calm was when the bridge was closed, stopping the boat traffic. By nightfall and the end of boat traffic, the slip became comfortable.

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This was our third stay at Kammerman’s. The people are always great. The restrooms and showers are adequate. Unfortunately, the restaurant is closed on weekdays after a Labor Day so we couldn’t eat there. We didn’t take the time on this stop to play tourist and visit Atlantic City. We’ve done that by Uber in the past and had some fun. My two frustrations this trip were the lack of responsiveness when I called in (by both phone and VHF) as I approached the marina. Then they wanted to put my 16 ft wide both in a slip that was too narrow. There was much idling and turning around while they found a place that was satisfactory. We end up in the same spot we had in July - next to a high wall that made getting off the boat a chore given the range of tides. I still like Kammerman’s and will probably stop there again in the future.

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This is the third time I’ve stayed at Half Moon Bay and I’m sure I’ll be back on my next trip on the Hudson. The head and showers are always clean and in good condition. For the most part, the piers are in good shape as well. On both of the last two times I’ve visited, the manager and I conversed before hand to discuss which slip we’d tie up in and to ensure there was assistance available when docking. One real benefit of this marina is the proximity to a good grocery store as well as the MetroNorth station for trips into New York City. Plus - there’s ice cream within walking distance. As I said, I’ll be back.

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The location of this marina is great for visiting in the Kingston area. We rented a car and spent two delightful days visiting the FDR Home and Museum as well as Eleanor Roosevelt’s home at Valkill. The highlight of our trip was having lunch on both days at the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park. Rondout Yacht Basin itself is beginning to show its age. The heads and showers were clean but out of date. The piers are in decent shape. Perhaps all the rain we had while here took some shine off the facility. The marina’s web site boasts a dockside cafe but it’s only a small snack stand with an awning covered eating area. To be fair, it was closed the whole time we were there so I can’t comment on the quality or extent of the menu. The most frustrating part of this stay was contacting the marina upon arrival. The DockWa listing and my reservation confirmation both said to contact them on VHF Channel 9. I tried several times but got no response. When I called by phone all I got was an answering machine - but no response to the message I left. When I asked the person who finally met the boat after my second phone call, I was told that they don’t monitor Channel 9, but only Channel 16. I had tried that twice with no response as well. It’s very frustrating to bring a boat into a new port and new marina and not be able to contact anyone ashore until you’re already in sight of the fuel dock.

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Dockmaster responded promptly when hailed and met us at the dock to assist in tying us up. Restroom and shower facilities are clean and nice. WiFi reception is excellent. My biggest compliment, however, goes to the marina owner who personally helped me troubleshoot an issue I had when trying to take on shore power. It turned out that the problem was not intuitively obvious but was on the marina side of the system. The owner came up with a work-around that provided my boat with power without having to move to a different slip. The owner spent at least an hour with me, right at the end of the work day, as we solved the problem. This is the kind of dedication to customer service that makes a marina outstanding.

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